The teachers of the students who were sampled for PIRLS were administered one questionnaire with questions pertaining to their background and their teaching practices in the classes of the sampled students. Each teacher was asked to respond to a questionnaire for each class taught that contained sampled students. The Teacher Background files contain one record for each teacher who teaches the sampled students. If a teacher taught more than one class, they were expected to complete two questionnaires, one for each class they taught. In some cases, although the teacher was to respond to more than one questionnaire, responses to only one were obtained. This file contains data generated by these questionnaires for each country.
the Teacher Background data files do not constitute a representative sample of teachers in a country, but rather consist of the teachers who teach a representative sample of students. The teacher data should therefore be analyzed only in conjunction with this, the Student-Teacher Linkage file. The Teacher Background data file contains a series of other identification variables, and link variables, as well as the responses of the teachers to the background questions.
Students who participated in PIRLS were administered a background questionnaire with questions related to home background and school experiences. The Student Background file contains students’ responses to these questions. The Student Background files also contain a series of identification variables, link variables, sampling variables, achievement variables, and the derived variables that were used for the creation of the international reports.
Student Achievement files contain the student response data for the individual achievement items in the PIRLS achievement test. Students who participated in PIRLS were administered one of ten test booklets with questions. Some of these questions were multiple-choice questions and some were open-ended. The responses to the open-ended questions were coded using a one-digit coding system. The achievement test data files contain the answers to the multiple-choice questions and the codes assigned by the coders to the student responses for open-ended questions. Since under the PIRLS test design a student received only a fraction of the total test item pool, the variables for the items that were not included in the test booklet that was administered to the student are coded as not administered. The specific test booklet that was administered to the student is coded in the variable IDBOOK. The Student Achievement data files also contain a series of identification variables, sampling variables, and achievement variables. The data contained in this file can be linked to the Student Background data files by using the variables IDCNTRY and IDSTUD.
The Scoring Reliability files contain data that can be used to investigate the reliability of the PIRLS constructed-response item scoring. The Scoring Reliability file contains one record for each booklet that was double scored during the scoring reliability exercise of the free-response items. For each constructed-response item in the achievement test, the following three
variables are included:
• Original Code Variable (achievement item response codes obtained from the first coder)
• Second Code Variable (achievement item response codes obtained from second coder)
• Response Code Agreement Variable (degree of agreement between the two codes).
The principals or administrators of the schools in the PIRLS sample were administered a school background questionnaire with questions about school policy and school environment. The School Background data file contains the responses given to the questions in this questionnaire. That file also contains a series of identification variables, link variables, and sampling variables. The school data files can be merged with the student data files by using the country and school identification variables.
The PIRLS Learning to Read Survey was completed by the parents or primary caregivers of the students participating in the study. Like the teacher questionnaire, the data from the parents’ questionnaire were linked to the student, who was always the unit of analysis, even when information from the parents’ questionnaires was being reported. That is, the data presented are the percentages of students whose parents reported various characteristics or instructional strategies.